A year ago this month, my pregnancy ended. I was 14 weeks along and just starting to feel the little bump below my belly button.
I don't want to dwell on the details or the sadness; I don't think it makes sense to some people why I was so devastated by this. Sometimes, when I think about it scientifically or statistically, it doesn't make sense to me, either; why it was so heartbreaking and why it took me so long to heal. But it did. It took me months. Physically, I wasn't "regular" until mid-July. Until around June, I didn't have the same strength and endurance that I'd had pre-miscarriage. I was tired, almost all the time.
In August, Steven and I felt like it was time to try again. What an incredibly weird feeling it was, to accept with open arms the possibility of another heartbreak. It was so liberating, but also very frightening.
We were so lucky that within weeks, I was pregnant. I still am - due on May 22nd.
I guess my whole reason for this post is that I want to commemorate the year mark of that baby's existence and the effect that it left on my life and the lives of those close to me.
I learned the best and the worst in myself during those months.
I learned how self-centered I can be, I also learned how selfless I can be;
I learned how my capacity to feel pain so thoroughly can either leave me completely disabled or can lead me to compassion for others;
I learned that criticism from others hurts me deeply, but that I'm stronger than the nay-sayers when I need to be;
I learned that my faith is easily swayed, but that when I pray, I'm given power to fight against the doubt.
I learned that life is sacred in a way I'd never known before.
It's good to know how we weak I really am; it's good to know how much I truly do depend on others - especially my husband and my parents.
I believe that there is some kind of law, or maybe it's just a tender mercy, that where there is loss and death there is also newness and life.
I remember sitting back in my parents' swing a few days after everything had happened. It was warm out - in the mid-eighties, but I was wrapped in a blanket, with thick socks and a sweater, shivering a little when a breeze blew by. I saw the little buds of new plants forming and breaking through the rocks in the back yard and I thought about Steven's brother who had just gotten engaged to his sweetheart, then I thought about another brother-in-law who had just found out that the baby his wife was expecting was actually two (their twins are adorable), I thought about my marriage (Steven was still in Ukraine at the time); how our old relationship had died with the baby, but a new relationship, a better and stronger and more enduring relationship had taken root.
We experience sorrow for no reason, sometimes, other than to feel. I believe that I existed before I was born and that I decided long, long ago that I wanted a life full of feelings. I wanted to feel real heartbreak and real joy.
I had a moment - a sacred moment - when time stood still and I realized that I could either accept numbness and move on with my life, barely acknowledging myself and my feelings, or I could allow this experience to penetrate my heart and break me but then heal me.
I'm so glad I chose to feel.